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Fall in Love With St. Louis

LUIS is very selective, so cities in consideration for With Love, LUIS have to meet a certain criteria. Host cities are approached from all angles, just like you would want your planner to think of every detail for your Big Day.

 

From proximity to the airport to family-fun activities, history to the current creative community, we hope you fall head over heels with St. Louis, just as we did throughout the selection process. That's why this version of With Love, LUIS is TWO days vs one… there was too much to see and explore!

After diving into the fabric of the Gateway City, LUIS has a lot of special experiences planned for your ultimate wedding planning weekend! Read on to learn more about why STL is a brilliant place to get hitched.

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Snapshot: STL

Founded in 1764 as a French fur-trading village, St. Louis AKA the "Gateway City" or “The Gateway of the West,” has always had style and diversity. In 1904 it hosted the first Olympic Games held in the U-S-of-A and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, or, what we know today as the infamous World's Fair, in Forest Park.

 

Today, the St. Louis metropolitan area is the 21st largest in the U.S., home to eight Fortune 500 companies, and where some of the most recognizable family-owned businesses were born: Rawlings, Build-A-Bear, Ralston Purina (spun off its battery division to Energizer Holdings, Inc. in 2000, and merged in 2001 with Nestlé Purina PetCare Company), Anheuser-Busch, etc.


While those tick off the boxes for With Love, LUIS swag, creativity and innovation (it’s a vibe), it is also centrally located, surrounded by eight states with convenient access to major interstates and rich in experiences making it an easily accessible location for your wedding guests with a lot to offer. Below is a snapshot of why LUIS chose The Gateway of the West as the next host city; don’t just take LUIS’ word for it though… check out what some of these folks had to say as well!

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Location, Location, Location!

- St. Louis is the largest city along Route 66 between Chicago & LA, drawing international travelers

- Amtrak offers five daily round trips between Chicago & STL (stopping in Springfield) and 2x-daily service between St. Louis & Kansas City (stopping in Jefferson City)

 

- St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) has 500 daily flights (including 68 non-stop destinations), is minutes from Downtown STL, with direct access to the MetroLink light rail system - you don’t need a car to experience the major attractions!

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Forest Park

- Bigger than NYC’s Central Park & attracting more than 12 MILLION visitors annually 

 

- With the exception of Washington, D.C., The Gateway City has MORE free major tourist attractions than any other city in the country! Guests can visit the Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, and Saint Louis Zoo for a whopping $0, and they are all located in Forest Park!

 

- The Saint Louis Zoo is considered the #2 zoo in the country and #6 in the world 

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World Class Attractions

- The Gateway Arch, which recently completed a $360M transformation, is the tallest manmade monument in the U.S., dedicated to Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase and St. Louis’ role in the opening of the American West

 

- Below the Gateway Arch is the Museum of Westward Expansion, displaying an extensive collection of artifacts & in depth overview of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

 

- The Saint Louis Science Center is one of the largest science centers in the U.S. & abroad, serving 1M visitors annually. Admission is FREE!

 

- In the Gateway City, you'll also find The World Chess Hall of Fame and the world’s largest chess piece, measuring 20ft tall

- The Missouri Botanical Garden is the oldest public garden in the U.S. and among the top three public gardens in the world. It houses the Climatron, the world’s first climate-controlled geodesic dome designed as a greenhouse. It also has the largest authentic Japanese garden in North America

 

- 83,000 square feet covered in over 100 million pieces of stone and glass tesserae make up the world’s largest collection of mosaics, found at the Saint Louis Cathedral 

- Touted as one of the best in the country, the nation’s 2nd oldest symphony was founded in STL. See the orchestra perform at Powell Symphony Hall

 

- Dedicated exclusively to preserving and honoring the history and legacy of Blues music, The National Blues Museum is the only institution of its kind, opening its doors in STL in 2016

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What's Cookin'?

- Mistakes in different kitchens led to the creation of two STL staples: toasted ravioli and gooey butter cake!

- Legendary Michelin-starred restaurant from Italy, Casa Don Alfonso, debuted its 1st US outpost at the Ritz Carlton in STL

 

- Eight Chefs & restaurants were nominated for James Beard Awards (2020), representing everything from Bosnian to Vietnamese cuisine (Balkan Treat Box, Mai Lee), to long awaited praise for industry favorites, like Chefs Tara & Michael Gallina for Vicia (prior experience Eleven Madison Park, Blue Hill Stone Barns, Bouchon)

 

- Crown Candy Kitchen has been around for over a CENTURY (that is not a typo!) and is home to St. Louis’ oldest soda fountain

 

- Also older than a century, is Gioia’s Deli, famous for their “Hot Salami Sandwich” (James Beard America’s Classics Award, 2017)

 

- The Hill is one of the top “Little Italys” in the country, known not only for churning out Italian food, but also pro-athletes.

Baseball legends ​​Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola, Sr. call The Hill “home” 

 

- DON’T MESS WITH BBQ: 

STL is the #1 BBQ sauce market in the country. Per capita, St. Louisans consume nearly 2x as much sauce in a year than the average American. Secret revealed: there’s even a St. Louis BBQ Society! The ongoing battle? Baby Back Ribs vs St. Louis Ribs (originated back in 1926)

#FunFact: The ice cream cone, provel cheese, and 7up were all invented in St. Louis!

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Beer & Baseball

- ​​St. Louis is home of the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch. Learn about the founders - America’s first lager beer brewers, the many trends they set, and the empire we know at the Budweiser Brewery Experience. The Anheuser-Busch Complex is made of 137 structures with nearly 142 acres of land (including the stables for their Clydesdales, who you’ll get to meet in person!) and is a National Historic Landmark

- The Cardinals became the first team in almost 100 years to win a World Series Championship in the inaugural season of a new ballpark at Busch Stadium (2006)

 

#FunFact: The Cardinals have won 11 World Series championships (more than any National League team & second in MLB to the NY Yankees), + 19 National League pennants (3rd-most of any team)

LUIS' Premium Perks

Are you in love with the Gateway City yet? Wait until you see what's in store in LUIS' Premium Perks, LUIS' guide to STL experiences you should add to your ultimate wedding planning weekend bucket list. Stay the weekend to take advantage everything St. Louis has to offer. More this way!